Caring Ministries

At SPC, we try to provide our members with resources that meet their needs and enhance our ministry of care. Sometimes that need is some dedicated attention from a pastor, deacon, or Stephen Minister. Other times, they just need a little reminder that God’s love is there to envelope them in a loving embrace.

Pastoral Care

Our pastors are always on hand to meet with those who may be going through a difficult time. Revs. Joyce Shin and Sarah Cooper Searight provide a warm hand to hold and caring presence to pray with for members who are hospitalized or home bound, or experiencing grief. They can provide short-term pastoral counseling and offer referrals for longer term help. Please call or e-mail Revs. Joyce Shin and Sarah Cooper Searight directly to set up an appointment.

Deacons

Deacons of a church are traditionally charged with “deeds of love and mercy.” That is an apt description of the 21 members of SPC’s Board of Deacons. Members who are called to serve here minister in the name of the congregation to individuals who are sick, bereaved, shut in or who are returning from a hospital stay or in need of special short-term help. On Sunday mornings, they escort those who ride the bus from local retirement communities and deliver flowers, copies of sermons, and worship recordings. On Communion Sundays, they “extend the table,” serving communion to those unable to be here in person. When needed, they offer or arrange rides to medical appointments and provide meals. They deliver Easter lilies and Christmas poinsettias, and send birthday cards. Being a deacon means being of service to others. No job for the deacons is ever the same as the last; their goal is to meet the needs of those they serve.

Deacons are available to visit those who are isolated from the life of the community. Each deacon is in touch with his or her visitees every 3 weeks or so. If you or a family member would appreciate such visits, please contact Rev. Sarah Cooper Searight at 610-543-4712 ext. 117 or sarah.cooper.searight@swarthmorepres.org.

Stephen Ministers

Since 1995, Stephen Ministers at SPC have extended the pastoral care of our congregation to our own members, as well as into the community. They show Christ’s love by being there to listen on a weekly basis for about an hour, supporting those who find themselves going through a time of difficulty. Confidentiality is assured. Stephen Ministers at SPC receive 4 hours per month of supervision and regular continuing education.

What is Stephen Ministry?
Our congregation‘s Stephen Ministry equips lay people to provide confidential, one-to-one Christian care to individuals in our congregation and community who are experiencing difficulties in their lives. Our Stephen Ministers have a gift for caregiving, and receive 50 hours of training in providing emotional and spiritual care. They are a Christian friend who listens, cares, prays, supports, and encourages, and is someone who will “be there” for his or her care receiver.

Stephen Ministers Care for People Facing Tough Times
We all experience challenges in life—times when we could benefit from the support of a caring Christian friend. Stephen Ministers are ready to provide the emotional and spiritual care we need when faced with a crisis or difficulty. Examples include the loss of a loved one, hospitalization, divorce or separation, illness, loneliness or discouragement, unemployment or job loss. Please know that Stephen Ministry is a confidential ministry. The identity of those receiving care and what takes place in each caring relationship remains private.

Stephen Ministry Literature
The Stephen Ministry program provides the following helpful resources.

  • In the Fellowship Hall lobby there is a rack of Care Notes brochures on many topics of spiritual concern, from grieving a death or divorce to providing support for aging parents. There are also Care Notes written for children and youth.
  • The Stephen Ministry library (located in the Study) has many books, DVDs, and other resources for lending to those going through difficult or dark times or for those sharing that journey with someone they love.
  • For those who have lost a close family member, our Stephen Ministers send a series of four grief booklets during the first year.

If you—or someone you know—could benefit from the care of a Stephen Minister or if you feel a calling to join this ministry, please contact Rev. Sarah Cooper Searight at 610-543-4712 ext. 117 or sarah.cooper.searight@swarthmorepres.org.

Shawl Ministry

SPC’s Shawl Ministry started in April 2003 when an article appeared in The Inquirer about a group of knitters who had been inspired to knit shawls for those in need. We now have knitters and crocheters who contribute regularly to this ministry, with close to 1,000 shawls being giving to individuals in need of something warm and soft to remind them they are held in prayer.

New volunteers are always welcome! For the most part, volunteers work on their own time, but we will happily find a mentor/partner for anyone who wishes to work in community. Patterns are available at the Shawl Ministry website (www.shawlministry.com) and hard copies can be found on the bulletin board outside the church office. Finished work can be brought to the church office at any time and our pastors, in collaboration with deacons and input from members who pass on concerns, will ensure that the shawls get to those who will benefit from their warmth. If you know of someone who would benefit from a shawl, please take one from the bin in the sacristy. Labels and notes of caring are available in the drawer above.

Contact Us! We Would Love to Hear From You

Week-at-a-Glance

(Scroll to view more)